Firefly Imaging’s patented, award-winning scrolling projector was chosen by Sony Pictures Entertainment and its marketing partner, Buzztone, for the Hollywood premiere of Spiderman on 4 May. As celebrities and guest arrived to enter the premiere tent outside the Wadsworth Theatre, images of Spiderman’s web and logo were projected on the tent, which was larger than the size of a football field. "We were thrilled to be a part of the Spiderman premier and contribute in a material way to the look and feel of the evening. Our specialty is creating unique imagery and projecting it in large formats on any type of surface. The Spiderman premier allowed us to do what we do best," said Rachel Wagner, vice-president of events for Firefly.
Voted Product of the Year by Entertainment Design magazine, the Firefly Projector has the ability to project sharp, full colour images of any size and any shape. In addition to providing a valuable marketing tool for premieres, parties, concerts and product launches, other applications include theatrical scenic design, architectural design, film production, conventions and indoor/outdoor marketing.
Adam Hall has announced the availability of the new Viperlight, which builds on the success of the Racklight to combine the flexibility of a gooseneck, the portability of battery power, and the versatility of a spring-loaded clip with durable Racklight technology to create the first ever portable LED gooseneck light. The Viperlight can quickly be attached anywhere, and will provide up to eight hours of cool, coloured illumination using a single 9-volt battery.
Fans of FA Barclaycard Premiership club Bolton Wanderers FC will be able to enjoy next season’s soccer action in crisp close-up, following the installation this summer of a 16:9 format Lighthouse LED video screen at the Reebok Stadium, replacing an earlier LED screen installation.
The screen, whose sale was negotiated by VRS (Vision Reality Systems Ltd), is a fully weatherproof Lighthouse LVP2056 (20mm pixel pitch, 5600 Nits of brightness). Gareth Moores, Bolton Wanderers’ commercial director, comments: "We bought the screen for two reasons. We’re constantly looking to enhance the matchday experience for all our supporters, including live relays of away matches, and the video screen and the content on it is an integral part of that. Secondly, it’s an important revenue generator for the club as a high-impact advertising medium for our partners, sponsors and advertisers, and the quality of the Lighthouse screen is far superior to the existing screen. We looked at a number of alternatives and we were very impressed with the Lighthouse technology - we feel that we’ve acquired a fantastic screen at a tremendous price."
Julian Radley of VRS, a Lighthouse systems integrator, explains: "We have strong relationships with football clubs across Europe, and completed two European football stadium installations last year, including one at the new stadium at Roda JC in Holland. During their evaluation of different screens, we invited key people from Bolton Wanderers FC to Roda JC to see their new screen in action, and then organized a comp
DMX Music has standardized all system design and documentation on Stardraw. The premier provider of professionally programmed music, imaging and message marketing has begun to roll out Stardraw AV on a national basis over many of its 26 offices in the United States. DMX Music carried out extensive research and testing of available products before they opted to standardize on Stardraw. Tim Dorwart, vice-president of Commercial Division for the Eastern US, cited the need for quality over and above other requirements: "After our evaluation process Stardraw came through as the clear winner for us in all categories, but certain areas stood out," Dorwart said. "The key factor was the quality of the symbols and the fact they all conform to the same standard, and the protection that this affords the database. There is far less likelihood of corrupt data or a virus sneaking into the software than in programs that do not levy some form of qualitative standard. It was also the product that the sales guys felt the most comfortable with in terms of ease of use and the ability to produce professional designs quickly, and that of course is extremely important."
President of Stardraw.com, Randell Green, told us. "We have always stressed the short learning curve as one of the key assets of Stardraw. Most people can be productive within as little as half an hour. Not only does this save an enormous amount of time at the design stage, but the ability to produce professional quality presentations quickly and easily plays a very important role in closing the sale.&quo
Spider Engineering has opened a ‘Flightcase warehouse’ in the UK at its Tamworth site in the Midlands. The new look warehouse, which is open to the trade and public, has over 6,000sq.ft of space, including a new flightcase dept, a used flightcase dept and a used equipment dept. "This is an exciting project which we’ve been working on for three years," comments managing director Steve Austin. "We saw that there was a huge potential market for ‘off the shelve flightcases and have spent the last three years developing our manufacturing process to place us in the best position to supply that market." The company now carries over 700 cases in stock.
Unusual Services Ltd are main contractors for the massive Golden Jubilee weekend celebrations that are happening in The Mall, Green Park, St. James’s Park, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park and at the Queen Victoria Memorial.
The company is supplying all technical infrastructure, co-ordination, site and production management for this mind-boggling task, working closely with show producer Major Sir Michael Parker and the Golden Jubilee Weekend Trust. Unusual has employed over 250 sub-contractors and mounted a major logistical exercise to ensure the event - being broadcast live worldwide - is a well-oiled operation. To this end, the company has been interfacing with various authorities including Westminster City Council Special Events, the Metropolitan Police, Royal Parks, the GLA, the WRVS, London Underground, London Ambulance, St. John Ambulance and the British Red Cross.
The event involves the largest ever road closure programme in the Capital, and the police are expecting over a million people to come and enjoy the spectacle. Activities start on Saturday 1st June with a classical concert at Buckingham Palace, and conclude on Tuesday evening with a fly past over Buckingham Palace and The Mall by Concorde and The Red Arrows. The highlight of the event will be a world first at 10.40pm on the Monday night - a son et lumière and fireworks finale, with Buckingham Palace as the dramatic stage set. Never before has the Palace been used in this way. This imaginative inferno is designed by show explosives impresario Wilf Scott, and will be triggered by The Queen lighting the &
Unitek’s new Activ Banner system delivered an impressive performance at its inaugural race meeting at Chester. Installed and operated by event display specialists ADI Group, two Activ banner systems were used to display announcements, race results and sponsors’ messages at the May Vase Day event, televised by Channel 4 Racing.
This is the first time Unitek’s Activ Banner system has been used at a UK horse racing event: based around Unitek’s industry standard LED display cabinets, the low-profile, banner format displays can be installed quickly and easily, virtually anywhere. The Activ system allows real-time textual information, announcements, graphics and animations to be displayed with pin-sharp clarity and in vivid true colour, even in strong direct sunlight.
The fully weatherproof displays are controlled by a dedicated processor and Unitek’s Activ-8 software, which runs on any standard PC. The Windows-based Activ-8 software allows even novice users to create and edit sophisticated display sequences of text and graphics using any of the 35 built-in transition effects. Any number of sequences can be stored and instantly replayed at the touch of a button. Activ-8 can also utilize information derived from external sources like statistics databases and the Internet, which can be included into the display sequence. For the Chester meeting, ADI installed a 6.7m by 0.8m display in the Parade Ring and another at the winning post facing the Tattersalls Enclosure.
Lighthouse, designer, manufacturer and installer of giant LED video screens, has recently appointed David Thilwind as project sales manager for the Asia Pacific market. David will be responsible for a variety of areas including major project sales, sales promotion to both end users and architects, technical sales support for regional system integrators and project management.
David joins Lighthouse from Pilkington Micronics Ltd, where he spent three years as regional sales manager and brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the region and its markets. His past projects include Hong Kong Airport, Kuala Lumpur Airport, the LG Kangnam Tower in Seoul SK, the Peak Tram Redevelopment in Hong Kong, Café Deco in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Jockey Club and the South China Morning Post building in Tai Po (Hong Kong), and while in the LCD field he also worked with the likes of Philips, Variatronix, Yeebo and Merck.
Jimmy Lo, sales and marketing director at Lighthouse Hong Kong, commented: "We’re very pleased to have David join the Lighthouse team. This is a very exciting time in the LED video screen market and David’s experience is already proving very valuable."
E//T//C UK, the large format projection specialists, created magic at King's Cross Station last week, as Platform 1 was transformed into Platform 9 ¾ for the launch of the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone DVD/video. Copies of the coveted DVD arrived onboard the Hogwarts Express, and were handed out to eagerly awaiting Harry Potter fans by members of the top grossing film’s cast.
When the idea of projection was thrown into the production mix, E//T//C’s Ross Ashton was approached by Chris Slingsby and Dave Hurd from Imagination. The platform was already decided upon, and then they needed over 100 different cross-fading images projected, large and clear, onto the wall at the end of the platform. The images were to be projected onto an arched projection surface, custom designed by Harkness Hall, attached to the wall at the station end of the platform. Since the rest of the station functioned normally, packed with commuters going home from adjacent platforms, the main challenge was in overcoming the high ambient light levels. To address this, the 6kW PIGIs were located on a bridge 125m away, with two pairs of projectors lined up together to maximize the intensity. At the start of the show, all four projectors were overlaid to produce one single bright image, but as it got darker, they were able to switch the show to the two pairs and start the cross-fading sequence.
The get-in time constraints were also tight. The only slots for the projection team to work were between midnight and 4 am on the three nights preceding the event. The first of these wa
London-based sound, lighting and video installation and consultancy company, Live Business International, has just added a new member to its team and re-united the duo that ran the sound at the Millennium Dome.
Almost a year to the day after completing his contract at Greenwich, Gerry Logue has joined technical director Roland Hemming to become Live Business International’s technical project manager. Hemming comments: "I’ve been trying to get Gerry on board for ages, but distractions such as his consultancy for the Commonwealth Games and work managing a large video conferencing project have prevented us from working together until now. I'm glad he has finally seen the light and come home."
During his 20-year career, Gerry has established himself as one of the best audio-visual project managers in the industry. He coordinated the sound at Madame Tussauds and Rock Circus, production managed many events and has toured with a number of top Irish bands. Logue adds: "We were a good team when we last worked together and our complementary skills will be ideal for forthcoming projects and to expand our business in the future."
CT NEC supplied a wide array of AV equipment to over 80 stands at the recent IPEX print exhibition at the Birmingham NEC. The most notable of these was the Xerox stand, produced by PGI, which covered 65,000sq.ft of the venue. Both CT NEC and CT London provided video technology, hardware, software, installation and manpower to the stand throughout the nine-day event.
PGI - who have offices in 30 cities across the world - offer business-to-business communication, exhibition and trade show services and destination management, and have been working with Creative Technology for over three years. A purpose-built theatre, which ran demonstration shows eight times each day, required three remote control cameras and four lipstick cameras which were placed on the new Xerox DocuColor iGen3 in the theatre and at various other places around the Xerox stand. Throughout each show, presenters were able to cut to real-time camera shots, to show the operation of various machines.
Distributed around the rest of the stand were approximately 20 plasma screens, which ran looped video advertisements, displayed PowerPoint presentations and were also connected to the PC’s and Macs that run the Xerox print engines. Plasmas were also erected on seven remote satellite stands around the rest of the IPEX exhibition area, which acted as three-dimensional poster sites. Video projection technology, LED screens and plasma screens were also provided for the Keynote conference held by Xerox on the first day of the exhibition - catering to approximately 500 attendees.
Screenco have purchased an opening stock of Barco’s DLite 10 tiles - primarily for use in the new £32m Manchester Aquatics Centre for the upcoming Commonwealth Games swimming events. The 144-tile order will give them a maximum 30sq.m presentation area, which will be split into three separate displays. Screenco also purchased additional rental structures to allow greater flexibility in creating non-standard shapes.
In view of the humidity in the pool, one of the recommendations made by Screenco was the need for displays to be rated to IP65 for dust and water protection, as confirmed by Graham Andrews, Avesco plc Audio Visual Services Division managing director. "We chose the D10 on its price versus performance ratio and its IP65 front and rear characteristics, which make it ideal for the high degree of outdoor arena and stadium work in which we specialize."
Navigator Systems Ltd have come up with a solution which will ensure that companies who own ‘demo’ stock achieve the best possible return on their investment. Following several months of discussions with sales representatives, Navigator discovered that for some keeping track of the ‘demo’ stock had turned into a logistical nightmare. Items such as mixing desks, projectors, plasma screens and lighting consoles had either been forgotten or simply gone missing.
By adding several new features to its rental management software system RentalDesk, Navigator Systems have now made it possible to search quickly and easily for the ‘First Available Date’ for the ‘demo’ item required. Thus, if a company requests a mixing desk for a five-day period in June, the sales rep can check whether it’s available for that period and if it isn't, give the client the next best alternative date. This will ensure that the ‘demo’ item is being used efficiently and sales stock will not have to be used because of a double-booking that wasn't taken into account. Ex-demo stock will therefore not accumulate and will not have to be sold at vastly reduced prices. The new system also makes it possible to record the exact location of the demo item.
Christie projectors have been used by Lucasfilm Ltd for the production, post-production and (commencing May 16) the exhibition of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones - the first all-digital major motion picture.
In 1999, Christie signed a three-year agreement to supply Lucasfilm with the latest projection equipment to meet its production needs. Christie projectors were first used by Lucasfilm in the post-production of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, and were used even more extensively for Attack of the Clones. With the decision to shoot Episode II digitally, Christie projectors played an important role in the production of the movie as Lucasfilm took a Christie projector on location to Australia to review daily footage. In the final post-production phase conducted at Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucas Digital Ltd, the filmmakers used a Christie Digital Cinema projector for the editing and mastering of Attack of the Clones. As the first DLP Cinema licensee, Christie has worked closely with Texas Instruments to provide the film industry with sophisticated projection solutions.
On May 16, when Star Wars opened around the world, 67 theatres, furnished with Christie products, presenting Episode II digitally the way George Lucas intended it to be seen. On May 12, Christie projectors officially launched the release of Episode II at the Los Angeles premiere, held at the famous Mann’s Chinese Theatre.
Roy Lamb has been Bryan Adams’ production manager for the past three years, ever since Val Dauksts finally decided to wave the road goodbye.
Lamb, himself a contemporary of Dauksts, is rumoured to stick at the job for the love of rock ‘n’ roll and the huge variety of golf courses this career affords him. Which just leaves Adams himself - why does he keep doing it? "This tour has been running pretty much continuously since ‘98, two weeks on, two weeks off," said LD Mac Mosier. "He just loves touring. He said it to the crowd at the last show - I don’t have an album out, I’m not promoting anything, I just enjoy being here."
Beyond my own personal like for the artists’ song writing and his live performance, this proved heartening news. As with Travis, which I’d seen the week before, I polled the audience; for a middle aged rock ‘n’ roller there were large numbers of yoofs at the front. "Why," I asked a teenager, "are you here?" "I got into Adams about four years ago," he said. "But he’s more my generation than yours," I suggested. "Yes, but there’s so much rubbish about I had to look somewhere else for talent." Four of this lad’s immediate neighbours nodded their heads in earnest agreement: "Are these mates of yours?" I asked? "Never seen ‘em before in my life."
It was a similar story elsewhere. Sheffield Arena was bulging - 11,500 people at £27.50 - how does he do it? I quizzed Lamb. "Exquisi
Imagine the challenge of producing an event where your six star performers each weigh seven tons and are four metres high, three metres wide and up to 10 metres long. This was the task facing One Box Productions when launching ERF’s new range of trucks at Telford International Centre on 24 April.
The launch, to ERF’s dealer network and key customers, was particularly important because it is the first time ERF trucks have incorporated cabs developed by their parent company MAN. For One Box managing director David Langdon and his team, the challenge was to develop a show concept that would communicate the company’s heritage, the driver benefits of the new range and allow a large-scale product reveal. The solution was a dramatic AV presentation projected onto a 40ft high, 130-degree arc of drapes. This was delivered using Blitz Vision’s Suite P system and an array of seven projectors. The drapes were then drawn back to reveal the six trucks from ERF’s new range. The AV presentation was continued using five rear projection screens mounted above the trucks. Blitz also provided a d&b audio rig with 24-channel sound desk.
As well as producing the show and handling delegate logistics, One Box was also responsible for developing AV content. A dramatic opening video sequence made the connection between the need for product evolution in a fast moving technological age and the development of the new ERF range as the best of both MAN and ERF’s engineering genes. One Box show producer Andy Key, explains: "Our approach has always been to work v
Winner of the 2001 LDI Award for Product of the Year Scenic Effects, and 2001 Eddy Award Lighting Product of the Year, Rosco’s ImagePro is now being launched across Europe. Already hugely successful in America, the ImagePro offers an easy, inexpensive solution for projecting photographic quality images, from the iris slot of an ETC Source Four, Altman Shakespeare, Strand SL or Selecon Pacific lighting fixture.
Projections have already proven to add individuality and effectiveness to an exhibition stand, theatrical production, conference, product launch or film/television production. Anywhere that a temporary projection may be needed is where the flexibility of ImagePro will be indispensable. The image is created on a plastic iPro slide with full colour high quality images printed on high temperature plastic. Rosco has hundreds of images available for immediate use, catalogued on the CD which is packaged with every ImagePro, or we can create your own image which will be shipped to you as an iPro slide, ready for use.
Wybron has revealed the latest development for its Autopilot II: automated camera control. The company's popular control system, created to turn regular moving lights into automated followspots, now also allows a camera to follow moving objects or people automatically.
First demonstrated at PLASA 2001, where visitors to Wybron's stand could see themselves captured on a camera controlled by the Autopilot II, the system should prove invaluable to smaller television or film production companies, where staff are at a minimum. Easily operated, a transmitter carried by a presenter or actor sends out signals to receivers, which are connected to the Autopilot II controller. Mounted onto a moveable platform controlled by the Autopilot II software, a camera will then follow the person carrying the transmitter, ensuring they're kept in the frame. The Autopilot II was used with High End Technobeams on Witches of Eastwick at the Prince of Wales theatre in London to track the three witches in the flying scene.
XL Video is supplying chart toppers Muse with video equipment including a Catalyst playback system for the next 17 weeks. This is believed to be the first European tour for Catalyst. Muse’s video system utilises High End Systems’ revolutionary Catalyst image processing system, two Barco G10 ELM projectors and a rear cyc.
Muse’s creative designer Oli Metcalfe was so impressed with the demonstration organised by XL Video’s Des Fallon that he immediately recommended Catalyst to the Band. They then visited High End’s Ealing office, and were blown away with the system’s capabilities. XL’s Mark Hughes is rigging the system, and Metcalf is controlling the Catalyst via DMX from his Wholehog II (with extender wing) console. Metcalf is running a wide assortment of video clips and media via the Catalyst including stunning abstract patterns, water effects, etc. He comments: "The really funky thing about the Catalyst is that I can affect the images quickly and easily from the lighting desk. It’s just so versatile and controllable, and responds just like a light!"
Harnessing two decades of projection engineering know-how, Christie has announced the launch of its new line of single-chip SXGA DLP rear-screen tiling projection systems - the CS70-500Xe stackable display cube and the RPMS-500Xe rear projection module.
Both projection systems are engineered and manufactured at Christie’s IS09001 registered facility and are designed for applications where high reliability, long-term performance and stability are critical. The CS70-500Xe stackable cube displays native SXGA (1280x1024) resolution across a 70in diagonal high-contrast, high-gain screen, manufactured also by Christie. The depth of the CS70-500Xe is only 34". Using a 500W CERMAX Xenon user-replaceable lamp, the CS70-500Xe projects over 700 cd/m2 (nits) ANSI brightness. The double speed, six-segment colour wheel ensures long life and high reliability.
The RPMS-500Xe is the rear projection module component of the CS70-500Xe in a self-contained, industrial-design package (no cube/screen configuration) and designed specifically for customised display wall installations. The RPMS-500Xe displays native SXGA resolution and supports up to UXGA (1600x1200) resolution. It provides 1200 ANSI lumens brightness using the same Xenon illumination system as the CS70-500Xe. Unique to the RPMS-500Xe is its integrated six-axis geometry adjustment system which allows for precise positioning of the optical display head behind the display wall or screen. The versatility of such a system is in the achievement of both 0° and 90° lens orientation of the optical head itself. The project
Westlife kicked off their ‘World of Our Own’ global tour in Europe with a spectacular lighting rig supplied by Bandit Lites and video expertise from XL Video. By the end of the European leg of the tour in June alone, Westlife will have played to nearly a million people, and the tour is destined to be one of the most successful and high profile of the year.
The lighting design was a collaboration between the show's technical director Phay MacMahon and LD Barry Halpin. MacMahon also designed the stunning in-the-round stage and set (both on the ground and in the air). With in-the-round being the most challenging of live performance perspectives, MacMahon and Halpin have created a breathtaking show full of drama and surprise. Bandit Lites - who also supplied Westlife's first tour last year - mustered over 120 moving lights - including 45 Martin MAC 2000s, 40 MAC 600s, 20 MAC 500s and 10 MAC 300s. Other fixtures include six-lamp Par bars, 2-lite Moles, 20 strings of Par 36 and 64 ACLs and a bunch of PAR 64 truss toners.
The complex, attractive geometric lines of the truss design are based on a perimeter pentagonal truss, and five individual internal acute triangle shaped trusses. The truss shapes compliment the five-sided contours of the stage, which is constructed from five individual segments slotting together to provide an central five sided 'circular' walkway, with holes for the musicians and monitors. Ten, 4-metre 'dog leg' pre-rigged truss fingers radiate outwards from the centre axis, each acting as hanging points for front and rear key-lighting fixtures f
Show Presentation Services (SPS) has just completed a number of events for children's charities, including the Microsoft NSPCC Ball, Scene and Heard's fundraising event, the Rhys Daniels' Trust Valentines Ball and the Children of Achievement awards, all of which took place in London.
Microsoft corporate social responsibility manager Sarah Foxall commented: "SPS was able to proactively think through the difficult issues presented by the event, and come up with solutions that allowed us to put on a great evening for our guests. With the generous support of our suppliers like SPS the Microsoft Charity Ball has been able to raise over £360,000 for the NSPCC over the last eight years." Ray Lowton, SPS's head of sound, said: "We try to make these events as painless for charities as possible. Working with charities is always rewarding and we like to feel that we can find time to help whenever possible."
SPS also supported the annual Scene & Heard fund raising event. This charity, whose patron is Oscar-winning actress Emily Watson, works with the under-privileged children of Kings Cross, to raise the self-esteem of the children involved through a personal experience of success. The children work in partnership with professional actors to write and perform their own plays. The Show Director, Paul Clayton, was thrilled with the show and SPS' contribution: "It was a great joy to be working with some familiar faces on what could have been a stressful day. Knowing that there are people around who are fantastic at their job just makes everything seem so much
A new multi-storey themed café bar in London’s chic Mayfair area, Café Grand Prix has been developed by a consortium of Monaco-based financiers at a cost of nearly £10million. Now London’s largest bar and restaurant, it takes its style and name from the famous venue located on the legendary Rascasse bend at the Monaco Grand Prix race circuit in Monte Carlo.
Onyx Projects were asked by architects Smith Caradoc-Hodgkins (SCH) to design an integrated AV solution after the two companies had worked together on developing the Rainforest Café concept. There are three individually styled restaurants contained within the vast 22,000sq.ft footprint on the site for the former Thomas Cook head office - occupying the ground floor and two basement levels. The feature area - La Rascasse Restaurant - is a large, 170-cover banqueting room, which is also available for corporate functions. Here, two discreetly recessed Christie Vivid Green projectors, fitted with standard lenses, project onto a pair of 8ft by 6ft Faith Audio Visual screens, set on either side of the VIP gallery. Taking satellite, DVD and VHS programme feeds, there is also a local input point which allows data switching for Powerpoint presentations.
The Vivid Greens were originally designed to be mounted on hoists, but interference with the water pipes for the sprinkler meant that another solution needed to be found, and Onyx have now recessed the projectors into the ceiling pelmet on Unicol cradles. Another area, called Rosie’s Bar, is also available for corporate hire, and includes a Christie Vivid
BarcoEvents receives orders for over 5000 square feet (450 square meters) of its award-winning LED displays during the first quarter of 2002, posting a growth of over 50% over the same period last year. The division, one of the fastest growing within the Barco group, boasts several substantial orders this year, including orders by US-based wholesale rental giant VER (Video Equipment Rentals), multi-national event engineering companies PSL Group (USA & UK), the Avesco Group’s Screenco & Creative Technology (USA & UK), as well as VPS (France), Imag -Video (USA) and AV Teknik (Sweden). BarcoEvents has already received LED orders in excess of US$25 million during the first quarter of this year.
According to industry market research data, BarcoEvents counted over 60% market share (by value) of the total global LED rental market during 2001. The recently-released growth figures indicate that Barco is clearly living up to its reputation as "reference in the LED industry".
BarcoEvents’ division manager Steve Scorse commented: "I truly believe that Barco’s continued dedication to delivering a high-quality product backed by reliable service and support have differentiated us from our competitors."
Barco will also be a major provider of the LED displays used during the World Cup Football Championships 2002 via the sale of over 430 tiles Dlite7 to its Korean rental partners - Good Media, Hibino Korea, Imtek Korea and SeWoo Korea.